Breaking bad news to people with learning disabilities website full of practical guidance


Earlier this week, we posted about a study by Dr Tuffrey-Wijne and her colleagues which described the process of the development of guidelines to support decision making about disclosure or non-disclosure of bad news about life limiting illness to people with learning disabilities.

That study was part of a broader programme of research that has already produced some guidelines on how to break bad news to people about a  range of issues that might be life changing for people with learning disabilities, including moving home, illness or death in the family etc.

We wanted to take the opportunity today to direct you to one of the outputs of that programme, which is an excellent website resource Breaking Bad News.

This site has a step by step approach to thinking about why existing guidelines have not been up to the job and setting out a new step by step approach to breaking bad news. There are also frequently asked questions, top tips and links to other sites and resources.

The site is a practical but evidence-based resource to help put into practice the insights gained through the research in the programme.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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